Posttraumatic stress disorder and substance use in inner-city adolescent girls.J Nerv Ment Dis. 2003 Nov; 191(11):714-21.JN
The purpose of this study is to examine rates of nicotine, marijuana, and alcohol use as well as patterns of problematic substance use and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in inner-city adolescent girls. One hundred four adolescents who obtained medical care at a hospital-based adolescent clinic were systematically surveyed for trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and substance use. A subset (N = 54, 52%) of girls completed a semistructured psychiatric diagnostic interview (K-SADS-PL) to ascertain timing of PTSD symptoms relative to substance use. Compared with traumatized girls without PTSD, girls with full and partial PTSD were significantly more likely to use nicotine, marijuana, and/or alcohol on a regular basis. Fifteen girls met criteria for both PTSD and a substance-use disorder. For 80% of these girls, the age of onset of PTSD was either before or concurrent with the onset of their substance-use disorder. Inner-city adolescent girls with PTSD exhibit problematic substance use and may be at high risk of developing a comorbid substance-use disorder.